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If you find that your fingers and toes have changed colour in response to a dip in the temperature, then chances are that you have Raynaud’s disease. This is basically a spasm of the blood vessels which affects the blood circulation in your fingers and toes and can very occasionally also affect your ears, tip of your nose, lips and nipples too. Symptoms may flare as age advances or in stressful conditions.
Discolouration of fingers and toes happens because of narrowing of blood vessels when the muscles of the vessels experience a spasm. Severity, frequency and duration of the symptoms depend upon the extent of the spasm that the blood vessels suffer.
Raynaud’s Syndrome on its own constitutes, what is called the primary syndrome. When accompanied by other diseases it becomes secondary.
Some of the diseases which are accompanied by Raynaud’s are Sceloderma, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Connective Tissue Disorders, Hormone Imbalance, Frostbite, etc.
This is what happens if you are suffering from Raynaud’s Syndrome:
Feeling of coldness in toes, fingers, skin of ears, lips, tip of nose, etc.
Change of colour of above mentioned areas from pale white to blue and purple, sometimes accompanied by numbness.
Stinging pain or a prickly sensation on application of heat and change of colour to red as blood returns to those areas. This could be accompanied by itching and swelling in the said areas.
Though the actual causes have not been discovered yet, it is known that exposure to severe cold can cause an abnormal spasm of the blood vessels and they will contract, obstructing the flow of blood. If this goes on for a long duration, the affected areas suffer an oxygen deficiency which in turn changes their colour to blue and purple.
The Raynaud’s Phenomenon is noticed more in people who live in cold regions, in women who perform household chores on a daily basis and in people who experience conditions of extreme stress.
Effective treatment for Raynaud’s Syndrome must include:
Protection of limbs against extreme cold and trauma/injuries
Improving blood circulation in the limbs and extremities
Relieving spasm in the blood vessels
Both medicine and surgery are advised to cure Raynaud’s disease depending on the severity. Some advise blood thinning medicine. For severe bouts of Raynaud’s Syndrome sympathectomy is conducted which is the process of making small incisions on the nerves of the affected hands and feet. In very rare cases amputation of fingers or toes is required to prevent gangrene.
For those who are prone to Raynaud’s Disease/Syndrome some simple precautions are advised to avoid aggravating the symptoms. Following the following regime will help in doing so.
Adequate exercise – to keep the body temperature balanced and ensure blood circulation.
Avoid smoking – to maintain the temperature of the skin.
Wearing gloves and socks – especially in cold weathers to keep the hands and feet warm.
Protect hands and feet from injuries.
Room heaters to stay warm.
Rubber gloves while performing household chores to avoid injuries and excessive cooling of fingers.
Avoid medicine that causes spasm of blood vessels.
Avoid exposure to fumes, fog and chemicals
Control stress – by avoiding stressful situations or learning to control reactions through practices like yoga, breathing exercises, meditation,
Nirogam follows some specific Ayurvedic treatments for Raynaud’s Disease:
Correction of the dosha imbalances (especially vata and pitta in the blood vessels).
Blood Letting (Rakta Mokshana)
Pouring of medicated Liquids to help in improving blood circulation (Parisheka)
1. Improves blood flow to the limbs and extremities
2. Relieves spasms in the blood vessels
3. Balances vata and pitta in the blood vessel.
Dosage : 2 tablets, twice a day, 30 minutes before breakfast and dinner with warm water.
Other Formulations that are effective and available for the treatment of symptoms associated with Raynaud’s include:
(To be taken internally )
Kaishora Guggulu – promotes health of ageing skin, joint health and natural blood cleanser
Mahamanjishthadi Kashaya – treatment of skin diseases
(To be applied externally)
Maharaja Prasarini Taila
Parinatakeri Narikela Taila
Besides the above treatments there are a few simple home remedies to cure Raynaud’s Disease which can ease the symptoms and give relief.
Take the leaves of tamarind and the Aloe Vera pulp in a 4:1 ratio and mix to prepare a fine paste. Apply to the affected areas for 15 to 20 days. Regular use of this preparation when the condition flares will give symptomatic relief.
Take cumin and mustard seeds in equal proportion and deep fry till they are charred. Warm the charred mass in sesame oil, add pinch of salt and store in a glass container. This paste can be applied to the affected area every day. 1 to 2 hours after application, it should be followed by pouring lukewarm water over the affected areas for 5 to 8 minutes. This natural remedy increases the blood circulation in the affected areas and relieves congested blood vessels.
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